I’ve come to the conclusion that finding the funny is the key to happiness. There are actual physical and mental benefits to humor. When you laugh you increase endorphins, decrease pain, lower stress, and boost your immune system. Laughter really is the best medicine. Here are seven ways to find the funny, build optimism, and elevate your mood.
1) Make Problems Funny
Whenever guys leave the toilet seat up in our office bathroom I’m always tempted to get a sharpie marker and write “Close Me Son!” on the lid. 1) It’s funny to think about and instantly decreases my irritation 2) It’s a friendly permanent reminder to put the damn lid down. When you think funny, you do funny. Humor actually boosts your problem-solving skills. There is a famous quote from Dwight Eisenhower that says, “a sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done” and it’s true when you think about it. The most effective problem-solvers and admired leaders have a good sense of humor. Find creative ways to diffuse tension and not only will it make you feel better, it will likely be the most effective way to solve the problem.
2) Get Someone to LOL
You ever notice that when someone cries or is really sad, your instinct is to make them laugh? That’s because laughter naturally causes your body to relax and is proven to decrease depression. Also, when you make someone laugh, you feel better as well. Next time you find yourself in a funk, make someone laugh. It will reorient your brain away from whatever is making you feel bad, build your optimism, and help you embrace a forward-looking attitude. Plus, when you make others laugh, they are more inclined to be there for you when you’re feeling down.
3) Turn Disappointments into Humorous Opportunities
I’m reminded of The Rolling Stones’ song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” whenever I face disappointments, because oftentimes when I face disappointments it’s only because I get what I need in the near future. Find ways to turn disappointments into funny moments for yourself. Maybe you didn’t get the job, guy, project, or achieve your goal, but I’m sure there is something slightly humorous about the situation. There always is. Find it and then build on it. Once you do that, associate your attitude with the funny in the situation as opposed to the failure. Every disappointment is an opportunity to dream about your future success. When you think positively you attract positivity into your life. In a way, by facing your missed opportunity with humor, when you finally get what you want, it will likely come in a funny way.
4) Spend Time With Fun People
Funny, optimistic people aren’t stupid or naive, they just understand the secret to building relationships. Most people, if given the choice, would choose to associate with people that make them feel good. Like attracts like. If you’re attracted to pessimism, you’re going to attract pessimistic people into your life. The key then is to hang out with people who see the glass half full. Even if you don’t naturally see life that way, if you surround yourself with people that do, you’re likely to gain a unique perspective and possibly change your own attitude. Optimism doesn’t make you less intelligent or less aware of the world’s problems, it makes you better able to tackle them with zeal. Build relationships with positive people and you’re likely to find joy, positivity, and a stronger network of friends and relationships.
5) Treat Life Like a Game
I think the movie “Life is Beautiful” hits the nail on the head. The movie is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. There will always be problems, there will always be challenges, and there will always be circumstances beyond our control, but the key is to find ways to change your perspective and approach challenges like a game. When we learn to see the humor in life, we’ll learn to win.